1 And the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time (if God gives you a command, do it. Don't make Him ask you again.), saying,
2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city (cp. 1::1,2; 4:11. It is said to have been about 60 miles in circuit and about 25 miles across. We must remember that such cities included large areas for cultivation and pasturage. Cp. 'much cattle' 4:11), and proclaim (Heb. kara' = to cry aloud: as in vv.4,5,8; 1:2,6,14) to it the preaching that I bid you." (Teach the words of the prophets.)
3 So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. (I.e. in circuit. Its going to take a lot of preaching.)
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said,
D M1 3:-4-10. Pardon of Nineveh. M2 4:1-11. Correction of Jonah.
M1 i -4. Yahaveh. Proclamation. k 5. People. l 6. King. Repentance. k 7-9. People. " i 10. Yahaveh. Pardon.
"Yet forty days (the number of probation), and Nineveh shall be overthrown." (Pretty final. No ifs, ands, or buts.)
5 So the men of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast (see introductory notes why Jonah was upset by this), and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. (100% fasting to God instead of party time, they tried to do something about it. They believed God and turned and hung on every word. The heathen had sense enough, that when they observed a man being brought back to life that was definitely sent of God, that had enough sense to listen to Him. On the other hand when you look at the type of Christ Himself, when He would spring from that tomb in resurrection in real life and would walk the earth, you would think all of God's children would bow down and worship Him. Did it happen? of course not. Nor does it happen to this day. See Luke 16.)
6 For word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his great ones, saying, "Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God: yes, let them turn every one from his wicked way, and from the violence that is in their hands. (What God can accomplish among the Gentiles is amazing. He opens up to them a way of salvation.)
9 Who can tell [but that] God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?" (Cp. "Who knows...?" 2 Sam. 12:22. Joel 2:14. Jonah, for one, thought Yehovah might do so. Hence his reluctance to give Nineveh the opportunity to repent.)
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their wicked way; and God repented concerning the wicked, that He had said that He would do to them; and He did it not.
(In God's eyes all people are His children. And if one people need correcting, often times He will let that people be corrected. Unfortunately, it will sometimes lead to wars and rumors of wars from generation to generation of nations and people and tribes. But in God's eyes it should not be that way. There is only one God.)